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Published 2023-12-21

Elections Staff Writer (Remote)


Type of job: Remote
Country: United States
City: Middleton
Company: Ballotpedia

Description of the offer

Ballotpedia seeks a full-time, 100% remote Staff Writer to join our Elections Team. Ballotpedia’s Elections Team researches, curates, and neutrally presents the basic facts and data about tens of thousands of races and candidates in every two-year cycle, with primaries and local elections happening somewhere in every month of every year. This consists of extensive research, direct outreach to external sources, data entry, data analysis, writing/using process documentation, and content creation.

To succeed in this position, you must have the ability to find obscure data, organize it effectively, and record it accurately on a consistent basis. You must have a drive and desire for innovation and flexibility as well as the ability to identify and solve problems proactively. Adapting to changing tasks and tools is key. You must be comfortable with data entry, rote work, work tracking, and the use of a database and spreadsheets. You must be able to write about complex topics in a neutral, clear, and concise manner.

Above all, to succeed at Ballotpedia, you must be self-aware and personally invested in constant improvement. As a Staff Writer, you must have a passion for creating a delightful experience for Ballotpedia’s readers, and you must strive to develop expertise in your subject and the inner workings of the Elections Team’s mission-driven work.

Responsibilities

As an Elections Staff Writer, you will:

  • Contribute to the full election coverage lifecycle (election date research → writing election overview articles → covering candidate filing deadlines → election content build-up → adding election results on election night → updating with certified results → processing officeholder swearings in/out)
  • Conduct systematic, efficient research to collect data related to officeholders, candidates, and elections while seeking out the best possible sources to ensure data quality
  • Use and master complex tools such as templates, spreadsheets, and our database
  • Maintain a quality focus while handling high-volume rote activities such as data entry
  • Use and generate complex documentation to perform key tasks, following carefully laid out processes, systems, and procedures as assigned by your supervisor
  • Understand which content requires standardization and which requires originality
  • Innovate to improve work processes and to enhance content quality
  • Generate content about complex topics in a neutral, clear, and concise manner; learning and mastering Ballotpedia’s neutral point of view policies
  • Write promotional material about Ballotpedia’s content
  • Learn from and apply feedback given by others, such as in Master Classes
  • Edit and proofread content effectively, efficiently, and consistently, taking into account multiple perspectives to unearth new improvement opportunities
  • Gain subject matter expertise over time in an area of focus
  • Interact with co-workers, customers, and the media in a professional, helpful, and pleasant manner
  • Some Elections Team members also specialize in one of the following:
    • Recall election coverage
    • Federal court coverage, including judicial news monitoring, confirmations, and SCOTUS cases

Skills

An ideal Elections Staff Writer will have:

  • A demonstrated passion for Ballotpedia’s mission
  • Knowledge of the United States political system and elections
  • Experience with data entry work, databases, or spreadsheets
  • Excellent organizational skills, professional writing and proofreading ability, and familiarity with the use of style guides; Ballotpedia has its own style guide that is based on the AP Stylebook
  • Some prior experience as a professional writer and/or editor (highly preferred)
  • Enjoyment in organizing their own lives and the world around them
  • The ability to learn quickly and adjust to changes easily
  • The ability to contribute to a positive and open team environment
  • The ability to look at our content from different points of view
  • The ability to detach from their writing and apply a high degree of critical scrutiny to their own work

Environment

The Elections Staff Writer will work remotely from their home location. All Ballotpedia staff work remotely. To join Ballotpedia, you must have a computer with Internet access. Ballotpedia uses the Google Suite (Gmail, Google Calendar, Drive, and more), Slack, and Asana to accomplish our goals. Some familiarity with the Google Suite, Slack, and Asana are helpful.

Ballotpedia has a flexible work environment, BP Flex, in which every employee enjoys unlimited vacation and flexibility in scheduling. Each employee will be oriented to the principles of Ballotpedia’s flexible environment during new employee training.

Compensation

The starting pay range for the Elections Team Staff Writer is $40,000-$42,500 commensurate with experience.

In addition to salary, Ballotpedia offers an annual benefits stipend equivalent to $8,000 that is paid out in equal increments in each paycheck once an employee becomes benefits eligible. The stipend may be used to pay for a full benefits package, including health, vision, and dental insurance; retirement accounts; and more. If benefits are not elected, the stipend is taxed as regular income and added to salary.

To Apply

To apply, click on ‘Apply for this job’ below and fill out the form.

Please attach:

  • Résumé
  • Cover letter detailing your interest in Ballotpedia’s mission and this position
  • Neutral writing sample (under five pages)

Note: please include this in the same file as your cover letter

Please ensure that either your résumé or cover letter include your current address. Applications without addresses will not be accepted.

Please note that if you are hired for this position, Ballotpedia participates in E-Verify and will provide the federal government with your Form I-9 information to confirm that you are authorized to work in the U.S. If E-Verify cannot confirm that you are authorized to work, Ballotpedia is required to give you written instructions and an opportunity to contact the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or Social Security Administration (SSA) so you can begin to resolve the issue before the employer can take any action against you, including terminating your employment. Employers can only use E-Verify once you have accepted a job offer and completed the Form I-9. For more information on E-Verify, or if you believe that your employer has violated its E-Verify responsibilities, please contact DHS.

About Ballotpedia

Ballotpedia is a collaborative team of fast learners and creative problem solvers who are eager to work hard to make the world a better place. We believe the world will be a better place if every citizen has access to information to make informed decisions about their vote in every election in which they are eligible to vote: primary, general, and special elections; federal, state, and local offices.

We work diligently to present the available information about elections, candidates, judges, ballot measures, policies, and more in a way that enables our readers to vote with confidence and to act as engaged citizens outside of the polling booth.

Ballotpedia readers, like Ballotpedia staff, are special people.

When we launched in 2007, we did not go out of our way to seek new readers. Starting with our small team of visionary idealists, nerds, and aspiring political journalists, we just wrote the best unbiased online articles we could, especially about ballot measures. Readers found those articles in droves. It turns out there was an unclaimed audience out there—people who wanted straightforward facts about political issues, and were willing to read at length instead of just scanning the headlines.

“If you build it, they will come:” our readers came to our neutral oasis in growing numbers; we’ve had many millions of lifetime pageviews, we reached nearly half of all voters in 2020, and, in the month surrounding the November 2020 election, we were the 77th most-visited website in the U.S.

We’ve come to realize that we need to meet our readers where they are. In doing so, over the past five years, we’ve grown our email newsletter program from infancy to include more than 3,000,000 opt-in subscribers with more than a dozen newsletters to choose from. We are working in numerous ways to help put our neutral information in front of people at the times when they most need it, including on mobile phones while you’re standing in the voting booth. We firmly believe that our readers, and the mindset we help them cultivate, are essential in a world where too many others are fighting to get us all addicted to sensational posts and the irrational decisions they foster.

If this is a mission you’d be willing to work hard to achieve, and if this is a team you’d be willing to work hard with—JOIN US.


How to apply?

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